The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 111

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I moved backward and then shook my head again, not wanting to hear what he was saying but knowing I couldn’t stop him.

“I agreed to their terms, but I stayed close to make sure you were okay and that nothing strange was happening to you.”

“And yet you still left me with people you didn’t even trust?”

Luc flinched—actually flinched. “Like I said, I was desperate, but that wasn’t part of the original agreement.”

“What was supposed to happen to me once they wiped my memory and healed me?” I laughed harshly.

“You were supposed to be placed with a family, but as I left the house the day you woke up from the fever, the esteemed Jason Dasher tried to renege on the deal. He attempted to kill me.”

My breath caught as the trembling throughout my body picked up. “Did you . . . Did you kill him?”

His jaw hardened. “That’s what some think. I might’ve even let people believe it, but I didn’t.”

I couldn’t look away from him. My mind leapt to the conclusion. “Are you saying . . . ?”

“Sylvia killed him. She was there when he tried to do me in. She took him out. That’s why I let you stay with her.”

Holy crap.

“This is too much.” Lifting my hands halfway, I stopped, because I had no idea what I was doing with them.

“Sylvia promised me that she would give you a good life, that no matter what happened, she would keep you safe, and she did. I made that deal and she honored it. I know, because I never really left. I always knew you were okay.”

“You . . . kept tabs on me?”

Luc didn’t deny it.

“Christ.” I gasped, unable to even comprehend it. “This just keeps getting worse.”

A muscle flexed along his jaw. A long moment passed. “If I had to do it all over, I would. Without a fucking doubt, I would do it again, because the only other option would be that you wouldn’t be standing in front of me—pissed off, but breathing. Alive and so damn beautiful that it sometimes kills me a little each time I look at you.”

I stared at him, and even though every part of my being wanted to deny what he was saying, what I’d learned today, I saw the truth in his tense expression. I saw it in the way he dragged in a heavy breath, and I saw it when I talked to her. To Mom. The truth had been in her tears.

I sagged, leaning against the wall. My skin felt stretched too thin. Oh God, this was true. This was real, but . . . “I’m not her anymore.” Tears clogged my throat. “I’m not Nadia. My name is Evie.”

His gaze met mine. “I know. She’s gone,” he said again. “And you are here.”

I . . . I couldn’t deal with this.

I had to get out of there. I needed time. I needed space. My body trembling, I pushed off the wall and walked to the door.

“Where are you going?” he asked, his voice hoarse.

“I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll find out, right?” I looked over my shoulder at him. “You’ll have someone follow me. I just don’t want it to be you. I want you . . . I want you to stay away from me.” I turned and opened the door. “I wish . . . I wish I never came to this club.”27

I didn’t go home.

I didn’t go to the park.

I drove and drove until I couldn’t concentrate any longer. Even though my life was hot mess express at the moment, I really didn’t want to accidentally take out a family of four. I pulled into a shopping center and turned off the car. I let my head fall back against the seat.

Yesterday I’d been worried about some kind of psychotic Origin out to kill me, and today my entire life had imploded.

I stared at the ceiling. “How is this possible?”

None of it sounded like it could be, but why would she lie and why would Luc lie? What did they have to gain by telling me that my entire life was one big fat façade?

They wouldn’t.

A huge part of me knew that it was the truth. There was nothing to gain by the lies. Nothing.

When I’d felt like the world was on the verge of imploding, I hadn’t realized it was my world that had been hours away from self-destructing.

I squeezed my eyes shut. “My name is Evelyn. My name is . . .”

I couldn’t remember what it was like to be a kid. In the quiet, I searched and searched my memories. There were glimpses of running and laughing, the scent of wet soil and the sound of rushing water, but nothing concrete. How had I not noticed that before? Could it be as simple as what Luc had said? That I hadn’t noticed, because I simply hadn’t thought to?

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance